odrigo Duterte assumed office on June 30, 2016. The President announced that measures would be taken against the provision of online gambling services to residents immediately after taking on his new post. President Duterte and his administration have not provided further details about what measures will be taken exactly. But as it seems, the Philippine gambling regulator has already started restricting the offering of online games.
Local media reported that 124 online gambling license have been canceled so far. PAGCOR, which apart from being in charge of regulating the local gambling industry, has also been operating online gaming parlors around the country, is planning not to renew the licenses of 302 online gaming venues and 324 online bingo outlets that offer their options to Philippine players.
Andrea Domingo, the newly appointed PAGCOR CEO, said at a Friday media forum, that the gambling regulator could lose around PHP10 billion due to the license cancellation. As mentioned above, the issuance of new licenses has already been frozen, too. As Ms. Domingo said, quoted by local media, the government and the gambling authority are working on an executive order on the provision of online gaming in a bid to determine the companies and the types of gaming options that would be affected by the ongoing crackdown.
The Philippines’ top gaming official also pointed out that a special task force would be assembled to watchdog and prevent the provision of illegal gambling options within the country’s borders
Ms. Domingo explained that the said task force will have the full support of local police and law enforcement agencies.
The gambling official also revealed that a potential merger between PAGCOR and the country’s Charity Sweepstakes Office has been discussed for some time now. However, such a move would require the introduction of a new legislation in order to be materialized.
At present, PAGCOR operates 11 casinos around the country, with those having 45 satellite facilities. It also regulates 11 privately held gambling venues. The regulator/operator reported net income of PHP2.5 billion for the first half of the year, up 2.5% year-on-year.